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Review of TracFone Prepaid Cell Phones

TracFone is another popular prepaid cell phone service. If you’re looking for a functional phone that might not have all of the bells and whistles as some of the more sophisticated phones have to offer, TracFone may be the service for you.

Phone prices start at $19.99 and vary depending upon make, model and zip code. Not all phone types are available in all zip codes. One disappointing discovery that I made is that TracFone does not offer phones with full QWERTY keyboards in my area (for you not so tech savvy folks, that means that I wanted more than just the 0-9 phone dial pad, I wanted the A –Z  mini keyboard for texting).

If  a QWERTY keyboard isn’t important to you, then you should be able to find a phone to suit your needs.

Purchasing Air Time for a TracFone

As with all prepaid cell phones, you must buy air time beforehand (thus the name prepaid). Without airtime, you won’t be able to use your phone. TracFone sells airtime in various denominations. Below is a listing of the currently available airtime/service time purchase options.

Talk Minutes Days of Service Cost
60 Minutes 90 Days $19.99
120 Minutes 90 Days $29.99
200 Minutes 90 Days $39.99
450 Minutes 90 Days $99.99

If you think you’re going to be a heavy TracFone user, then consider one of the year/double minute cards. Currently the following options are available:

  • 800 Minutes, 365 days of service and double minutes for the life of your TracFone $119.99
  • 450 Minutes and 365 days of service $99.99
  • Double minutes for life. This card doesn’t actually add airtime nor provide service days, but it will double the airtime on all future purchases (except for one year and double minute cards). $19.99

In addition to the above airtime/service options, TracFone also offers various web exclusives. It’s best to check out the web exclusives and search online for airtime coupons before purchasing phone time (the best way to find TracFone coupons is to use Google and search for “TracFone coupons”).

How to Purchase TracFone Airtime

There are several ways to add more time to your phone. TracFone makes it pretty easy.

  • Online: You can go online and purchase time from the TracFone website (and see all of the latest promotions).
  • Retail Locations: You can purchase airtime cards at retail locations. Places like Rite Aid, Hess, K-Mart, Target, Office Max and a host of other retail stores sell TracFone airtime cards.
  • Air time on Demand: The Airtime on Demand feature allows TracFone users to buy airtime directly through their TracFones. Before doing so, however, you must register your phone .
  • Automatic Replenishment: TracFone also offers several monthly automatic payment options where they bill you monthly and your airtime is replenished. Automatic replenishment costs anywhere from $9.99 to $29.99 depending on how many minutes you buy.

Next: Texting on a TracFone


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About the author: LaForey is a parent and a freelance writer who has done quite a bit of research on prepaid cell phones and free government phones.

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